Monday, April 7, 2008

SWAMP HORSE "Ravish" (Community College)

While it is not a Cassette Gods law that I do so, I avoid writing about the same artists over and over again. We get sent a lot of tapes, and, as a guy who writes mostly about Harsh Noise, I tend to have plenty of new things to ramble about. Which is why it should be surprising that I am writing about another Swamp Horse tape only two months after I wrote about the last one. And this is only their second tape! Perhaps when they release their third, I will be again so compelled to write that I will continue to cover their entire discography.
My review of the self titled cassette on Husk was positive, but I wouldn't say it was a rave. When CG was sent a promo of "Ravish" I thought I'd sit back and let one of my colleagues take a crack at it. When I found that nobody had claimed the tape, I popped it in my player, with no intention of reviewing it. This time, Swamp Horse has become, like, my favorite new band.
The A side contains one long shimmering drone that rises and falls with it's own woozy logic, with tones that conjure a low-fi Vangelis, without the heroic melodies. It's much less spooky than the previous cassette; where the self titled tape was the soundtrack to the creeping approach of a Lovecraftian forest beast, this first side is the morning after, when the sunrise finally breaks on the faces of the night's survivors. Side B is a return to doomier territory, but retains some of the glassy high-end sheen of the A side's palette. Beneath touches of spikey, hairy distortion, a nebula of synth tones swirl and churn. A more science fictiony affair, perhaps-- like watching a second generation VHS dupe of Event Horizon on a really small TV, and still getting the shit scared out of you.